• Yasmin Al-Najar

Why no one should support the dog breeding industry

We have all heard of dog breeding, but do we really know what is going on behind the scenes or just how bad it is?

Here’s why no one should support the dog breeding industry.


Cruelty

Dogs are bred for profit on both a large industrial scale and on a small scale, from unhygienic mills to claustrophobic backyards. In the dog breeding industry, many dogs are cramped in dirty crates and cages small for their size, making them develop bone structural problems and other disfigurements. They are chained to trees with no protection from harsh weather and can easily become ill, but they are denied veterinary care. We know dogs to be fun, loving and playful animals, but these dogs have no life left in them. They spend their days alone until they are sold and do not know how to socialise with other dogs. They were simply born to make the breeder a quick wad of cash.


Overpopulation

Dog breeders exacerbate the animal overpopulation crisis and animal homelessness. Neutering dogs hardly exists in the world of dog breeding and so bred dogs end up having litters of their own. In only six years female dogs can produce 67,000 puppies. Once the female dog is too exhausted to produce more pups she is deemed as useless and is sent off for auction or is even killed. Dogs are often euthanized because there simply aren’t enough homes for them. For dogs that get to live longer, it is a life of suffering on the streets. They are hit by cars or attacked by other animals and are susceptible to disease and may get caught up in natural disasters. At the moment there are no stringent laws that regulate how many animals people can breed and how often they can breed them. This unfortunately means that these dodgy and cruel practices can survive and thrive.



Dogs as the latest cute accessory to own

Breeders do not care about the health and well-being of the pups they are producing or the parents of the pups. All they are concerned about is making money. Every year there are trends that come and go around particular breeds and dog breeders produce dogs at an alarming rate to match the demand. A living being with a heart and soul, and that feels emotions just as much as you and I, is being treated as a fashion trend that is in one season and out the next. Buying dogs has become a thoughtless process as much as rushing into a store when there’s a huge sale on and panic buying a handbag that you know you’ll only use once.


Genetic deformations

Breeding dogs inhumanely and inbreeding means that from the offset they do not have a chance at living an enjoyable and healthy long life. Countless dogs birthed in these breeding industries suffer from painful and life-threatening disabilities as well as personality disorders. It is believed that up to 95% of Cavalier King Charles spaniels suffer a form of brain deformation and this deformation triggers a spinal cord condition that damages the nervous system (syringomyelia) in 50% of this breed. Inbreeding is also a huge issue. Inbred dogs can suffer from hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, and epilepsy all because of the human obsession with “purebreds”. These genetic problems will be passed down to the pups too. Hefty veterinary treatment bills as well as some people’s inability to properly look after the dog or their impatience, leads dog owners to abandon their dogs, mainly on the streets.



Are there actually any good breeders?

Of course not every dog breeder is a cruel person and forces dogs into harsh conditions. Some breeders do have a genuine passion and love for animals. People who buy from dog breeders generally rely on the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) inspection certification to make sure that the dogs have been treated properly and are legitimately purebred.

However, whether dogs have been bred “responsibly” is beside the point. The whole industry of dog breeding, however it is carried out, still carries the same issues of genetic defects, over-population, homelessness and packed up animal shelters. Even the most legitimate of dog breeders encourage the idea that dogs can be treated as commodities because potential owners can pick and choose their dog’s features and the breeders are using female dogs’ reproductive abilities to make money. It has been discovered that even those dog breeders that have the AKC inspection certification subject their dogs to puppy mill-like conditions. Dog breeding just encourages puppy mills and backyard operations.


Please adopt from an animal shelter

For every dog that is bred in these horrible conditions, another dog is sat in a shelter waiting to be adopted. A decent dog shelter will have ensured that all dogs have been vaccinated, sprayed or neutered, received other sufficient veterinary care and have been well socialised, fed, groomed and loved. This is one of the obvious huge differences between animal shelters and dog breeding places. Another stark difference is that animal shelters require the potential adopter to go through screening and sign paperwork. There is also an adoption fee to make sure that the potential adopter is committed to looking after the dog.

Don’t give your money to dog breeding industries. This is not a Build-a-Bear workshop where you can pick and choose your fluffy animal’s features without any real consequences. Dogs are thinking, feeling beings that deserve respect and a loving and committed family. For every dog that is bred, another is thrown out on the street or euthanized. Don’t let dog breeders rob a shelter dog’s chance of finding a loving family.




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